Sunday, January 15, 2012
Homemade Laundry Soap
In the interest of saving money, I have been perusing sites on how to make my own cleaners and laundry soaps. I am a little (okay, a lot) obsessive about my cleaning and laundry, though, and usually find a reason or two not to use a particular recipe. I believe in bleach and use it everywhere. I believe in washing all bedding in my house at least once a week. I believe in washing my pillows as often as my pillowcases; I believe in cleaning out the garbage disposal with vinegar and baking soda weekly and I believe in the sanitation cycle on my dishwasher. You can see that making my own cleaners is quite a leap of faith for me.
I did find a recipe for laundry soap that intrigued me, though. It's a dry soap that works great with cold water! I decided that the initial investment of less than twenty dollars was not too much for me to try it out. I go through one and a half big things of Tide a month. . . this adds up to about $30 a month in laundry detergent. I also used fabric softener and bleach in the wash which adds to the overall cost. I thought I'd give it a try.
I have a high efficiency front loader so I was a bit leery about trying anything but this one works! I use about 2 tablespoons and put it directly into the drum. I can use my cold water cycles, no problem! It gets my clothes so soft I don't use fabric softener. My bleach loads that I do once a week? Not again! This works better than bleach to whiten the unmentionables!
Here's the magic recipe. I tweeked it a teeny bit from the recipe on the original site because I had some extra stuff on hand and thought "why not"?
one 4 pound box of borax
one 4 pound box of baking soda
one 3 lb 7 oz box of Arm and Hammer's washing soda
3 bars of Fels-Namptha soap
four pounds total of oxy-clean (or generic)
one bar of soap (like Ivory or some other all natural soap. I used Zum because it was what I had)
All of this is found in the laundry aisle at Walmart except for the Ivory soap.
You start out by grating the bars of soap like cheese. You could use a food processor if you wanted. When I was done, I popped the grater into the dishwasher. It's just soap so it won't ruin your processor for food use. Just wash it well!
The second step is to mix everything together. You are done! I used a bucket I had in the garage that I washed out for this step.
You have to figure out what to do with this massive amount of laundry soap. . . here's what I did!
I bought a 1 1/2 gallon plastic jar at Target. It was on clearance. . . yeah!
I used my Sizzix to cut out vinyl letters. I filled it and set it out for daily use! It doesn't hold the entire batch (I still have an ice cream bucket and an oxy clean container of soap left to put in when this runs low) but it makes it so that I have some handy.
My scoop is an oxy clean scoop that I trimmed so that it won't hold more than the two tablespoons I use per wash load. I use less for smaller loads. The soap always dissolves, even in cold. And, the best thing? I have used this for a month and I'm less than a quarter of the way through what I have made. I am guessing that it will take four to five months to use all of this AND I don't have to buy fabric softener anymore!
The scent is very light and very fresh. For the bedding I would like to have a stronger scent, I buy the Purex in wash scent booster crystals. It's cheap, doesn't take much, and it lasts because I only do the guest bedding and the family's bath towels with it. If you've tossed around the idea of making your own laundry soap, I recommend trying this one.
If I do it again:
I might try a food processor instead of the grater next time. It took a LONG time to grate four bars of soap! It's a lot harder than cheese!
Posted by jennifer